Too cold for ice fishing at Lake Koshkonong - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Too cold for ice fishing at Lake Koshkonong

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MADISON (WKOW) - In the past, anglers young and old have braved the weather to enjoy ice fishing, but how cold is too cold?

Jim Furley, has been ice fishing for the past 50 years. "I think myself, like a lot of people, I just like to be outdoors.  I love to be out with nature," he says. 

But with temperatures hovering around 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 25 below wind chill, there's a question of safety. Furley explains, "If you have your hands or face exposed to below zero wind chill for a certain length of time, it will actually freeze and cause frostbite, which is definitely something you don't want to experience."  

But Furley's biggest concern is ice instability, especially during the first and last ice of the fishing season. "The first ice isn't thick the end of the season, it starts getting really weak. It may still be thick but it's weak and won't support the same amount of weight."  

But there are other dangers such as springs and currents moving warm water just below the surface. "Ice is never consistent, just because you have 12 inches in one spot doesn't mean the entire body of water is 12 inches. That's where a lot of people get fooled," cautions Furley.  

To be safe, Furley recommends to look out for heaves, where the ice pushes up out of the water resting against another ice patch. "Also, if you ever see steam or if you see a flock of geese out there in the middle of the lake, it most likely means open water. You want to stay away from there."      

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